Help Support a New Arvo Pärt Recording

Composer Arvo Pärt
After multiple performances, and rave reviews of Arvo Pärt’s Odes of Repentance, Cappella is preparing to make a recording of this work — but in order to make it a reality, we’ll need your support!

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Venice in the North Previews

Venice in the North

Preview works on this weekend’s (April 28-30) Venice in the North program with videos from Cappella Romana performances at the 2016 Utrecht Early Music Festival:

Venice in the North

Cappella Romana first performed “Venice in the North” at the 2016 Early Music Festival in Utrecht (Netherlands). Make your April complete with this remarkable music!

An exploration of Russian Orthodox choral works from the Imperial Court Chapel in Saint Petersburg, by the Venetian Classical masters employed there under Catherine the Great.

“Venice in the North” explores revolutionary trends in 17th- and 18th-century Russian sacred music, featuring compositions for Orthodox services by Venetians Giuseppe Sarti and Baldassare Galuppi, and Galuppi’s star Ukrainian student Dmitri Bortnyansky.

Especially in Saint Petersburg, the liturgical arts of architecture, iconography, and singing displayed influence from the Baroque culture of the West, evident in music from the cultivation of Italian and Central European polyphonic styles.

Program Notes

Friday 28 April, 7:30pm
St. Mark’s Cathedral


Saturday 29 April, 8:00pm
St. Mary’s Cathedral


Sunday 30 April, 3:00pm
St. Stephen’s Catholic Church


Meet The Tallis Scholars

Cappella Romana Presents: The Tallis Scholars

Cappella Romana Presents: The Tallis Scholars

…The rock stars of Renaissance vocal music… —The New York Times

…one of the UK’s greatest cultural exports —BBC Radio 3


Tuesday 4 April, 8:00pm
St. Mary’s Cathedral


Wednesday 5 April, 7:30pm
St. James Cathedral


The Tallis Scholars were founded in 1973 by their director, Peter Phillips. Through their recordings and concert performances, they have established themselves as the leading exponents of Renaissance sacred music throughout the world. Peter Phillips has worked with the ensemble to create, through good tuning and blend, the purity and clarity of sound which he feels best serve the Renaissance repertoire, allowing every detail of the musical lines to be heard. It is the resulting beauty of sound for which The Tallis Scholars have become so widely renowned.

The Tallis Scholars perform in both sacred and secular venues, usually giving around 70 concerts each year across the globe. In 2013 the group celebrated their 40th anniversary with a World Tour performing 99 events in 80 venues in 16 countries and travelling sufficient air-miles to circumnavigate the globe four times. They kicked off the year with a spectacular concert in St Paul’s Cathedral, London, including a performance of Thomas Tallis’ 40-part motet Spem in alium and the world premieres of works written specially for them by Gabriel Jackson and Eric Whitacre. Their recording of the Missa Gloria tibi Trinitas by John Taverner, was released on the exact anniversary of their first concert in 1973 and enjoyed six weeks at number one in the UK Specialist Classical Album Chart. On 21st September 2015 the group gave their 2000th concert at St John’s Smith Square in London.

The 2016/2017 season will see the group travelling to Australia, China, USA, Russia, Japan, South Korea, as well as extensive touring around Europe and the UK.

Recordings by The Tallis Scholars have attracted many awards throughout the world. In 1987 their recording of Josquin’s Missa La sol fa re mi and Missa Pange lingua received Gramophone magazine’s Record of the Year award, the first recording of early music ever to win this coveted award. In 1989 the French magazine Diapason gave two of its Diapason d’Or de l’Année awards for the recordings of a mass and motets by Lassus and for Josquin’s two masses based on the chanson L’Homme armé. Their recording of Palestrina’s Missa Assumpta est Maria and Missa Sicut lilium was awarded Gramophone’s Early Music Award in 1991; they received the 1994 Early Music Award for their recording of music by Cipriano de Rore; and the same distinction again in 2005 for their disc of music by John Browne. The Tallis Scholars were nominated for a Grammy Award in 2001, 2009 and 2010. In November 2012 their recording of Josquin’s Missa De beata virgine and Missa Ave maris stella received a Diapason d’Or de l’Année and in their 40th anniversary year they were welcomed into the Gramophone ‘Hall of Fame’ by public vote. In a departure for the group in Spring 2015 The Tallis Scholars released a disc of music by Arvo Pärt called Tintinnabuli which has receive great praise across the board. The latest recording of Josquin masses Missa Di dadi and Missa Une mousse de Biscaye was released in October 2016.

Seattle Russian Chant Revival Preview

Cappella Romana Men

Cappella RomanaSeattle audiences have the exciting chance to preview our Russian Chant Revival program on Thursday, March 30th during a pre-concert session with the Seattle Symphony in their night devoted to Rachmaninov and his Russian influences! The preview is FREE with a Seattle Symphony ticket. Then, experience the full Russian Chant Revival performance at 7:30pm on Friday night at St. James Cathedral in Seattle!

Russian Chant Revival

The men of Cappella Romana perform music from Vespers, Matins, and the Divine Liturgy in the Slavic tradition, including powerful medieval chants, and choral works by Rimsky-Korsakov, Kastalsky, Chesnokov, and more.

Friday 31 March, 7:30pm
St. James Cathedral


Sunday 2 April, 3:00pm
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral


Program information

Cappella Romana Welcomes New Patron Services Manager

Cappella Romana Patron Services Manager James Bartlett
Cappella Romana Patron Services Manager James Bartlett

James Bartlett

Cappella Romana welcomes new Patron Services Manager!

Cappella Romana welcomes James Bartlett as Patron Services Manager. Bartlett succeeds Cappella Romana’s Operations & Development Manager, Leslie Simmons, who recently accepted a position at the Oregon Symphony.

Bartlett, an experienced leader and project manager in the non-profit arts community, joins Cappella Romana’s staff after six years employed at the Oregon Ballet Theater.

“We are thrilled to welcome James Bartlett to Cappella Romana,” said Mark Powell, Executive Director. “He brings considerable expertise and knowledge to Cappella Romana that will continue to aid its growth and development. At the same time, we are so grateful to Leslie Simmons for her amazing work these past three years and I wish her well in her next chapter.”

Bartlett began his duties as Patron Services Manager on Monday, February 20, 2017. Departing staffer Leslie Simmons concludes her tenure with Cappella Romana on Friday, February 24, 2017.

Director Update – Associate Music Director John Michael Boyer to conduct Rautavaara All-Night Vigil in Portland and Seattle

John Michael Boyer will conduct Cappella Romana in this week’s performances of the All-Night Vigil by Einojuhani Rautavaara, replacing Timo Nuoranne. Nuoranne’s visa has been held up at the US Consulate in Frankfurt, Germany, in part due to a State Department delay in the days leading to the inauguration.

Film: John Michael Boyer in rehearsal with Cappella Romana

John Michael Boyer

Boyer has been well known to Cappella Romana audiences since 1999, as a regular member of the ensemble, soloist, and guest director. Boyer makes his Cappella Romana début as the ensemble’s new Associate Music Director with this program, having been appointed to that position on January 1, 2017 by Music Director and Founder Alexander Lingas.

Known for his expertise in Byzantine Chant and Orthodox music and liturgy, he lectures at conferences, workshops, and seminars on Eastern Orthodox liturgical music across the United States and abroad. He has served as specialty coach for both Chanticleer and the Minnesota Symphony for world première performances and recordings of works by John Tavener, including Chanticleer’s Grammy-winning recording Lamentations and Praises.

He has conducted operas, chamber music, and orchestral works as associate director of Bay Area Classical Harmonies (BACH), and was artistic director of the vocal chamber ensembles the Josquin Singers and the Metropolis Ensemble of Liturgical Orthodox Singers (MELOS).

John Michael Boyer is Protopsaltis (First Cantor) of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis (Diocese) of San Francisco, and studied Byzantine Chant with Alexander Lingas, Ioannis Arvanitis, and the late Lycourgos Angelopoulos (+2014).  He holds a Master in Divinity from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and is a graduate in music from University of California, Berkeley, where he studied choral, orchestral, and operatic conducting with Marika Kuzma and David Milnes.

His latest projects include the CD recording All Creation Trembled from Holy Cross School of Theology, in which he is featured both as composer and as soloist. He is one of six composers who collaborated on the forthcoming release by the St. John of Damascus Society, Psalm 103, a setting of the full text of the Psalm as translated by the late Archimandrite Ephrem (Lash) (+2016), featuring multiple Orthodox musical idioms. In the forthcoming recording, Sun of Justice, John Michael Boyer collaborates with Arab cantor Rassem El Massih, Protopsaltis of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America; the recording features Byzantine chant for Christmastide in English, Greek, and Arabic. Boyer’s book Byzantine Chant: the Received Tradition – A Lesson Book is slated to be published in 2017.


All-Night Vigil by Einojuhani Rautavaara:

Friday 27 January, 7:30pm
St. Mark’s Cathedral


Saturday 28 January, 8:00pm
St. Mary’s Cathedral


Sunday 29 January, 3:00pm
St. Stephen’s Catholic Church



All-Night Vigil by Rautavaara

Cappella Romana presents Einojuhani Rautavaara’s spectacular and rarely heard All-Night Vigil, featuring legendary Grammy-award winning basso profundo Glenn Miller.

“Be ready for goosebumps around your earlobes.” —The Oregonian

These performances are supported by the Finlandia Foundation & Nordic Northwest.

The All-Night Vigil by Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara (1928-2016) is unlike any Orthodox music you’ve ever heard, combining ancient and modern modes to create a vast, beautiful mosaic in sound. Glittering with Byzantine-inspired chanting, thick colorful harmonies, and spectacular vocal effects, this Vigil features solo passages for very low bass performed here by Grammy winner basso profundo Glenn Miller.

Like Rachmaninoff’s Vigil (“Vespers”) in Church Slavonic, Rautavaara’s setting in Finnish (inspired by childhood visits to Valaam monastery) cuts a spiritual path that transcends its original context with universal, irresistible power.

Sung in memory of the composer.

SWR2 Broadcasts Konstanz Performance

Cappella Romana Men

Germany’s SWR2 will broadcast our performance of The Fall of Constantinople in Konstanz this past September. The live broadcast is set for Saturday, January 14th at 7:05pm (GMT+1). You can also listen on demand via the player below:

Cappella Romana presents: The Arvo Pärt Festival

Arvo Pärt Festival by Cappella Romana

Arvo Pärt Festival by Cappella Romana

The first-ever festival in North America dedicated to the music of Estonian Orthodox composer Arvo Pärt will take place February 5 – 12, 2017 in Portland, Oregon, presented by the Northwest’s leading professional chamber choir, Cappella Romana. Arvo Pärt is the most performed living composer in the world. Full information.

The Arvo Pärt Festival features eight (8) live performances of music by Arvo Pärt with chamber music (including Spiegel im Spiegel), the complete organ works, a cappella choral works (including selections of the Kanon Pokajanen), a late-night performance of the Passio by candlelight, the Missa Syllabica sung in a Latin mass, and a festival finale featuring Pärt’s Te Deum for three choirs, strings, and prepared piano, Da Pacem Domine (commissioned by Jordi Savall in memory of the victims of the Madrid terrorist bombings in 2004), and the US premiere of Alleluia-Tropus celebrating St. Nicholas.

The live events of the festival will be preceded with a screening of the new film “Arvo Pärt: Even if I lose everything” at Whitsell Auditorium, NW Film Center.

The Arvo Pärt Festival also features two free public lectures, including “The Words Write My Music,” by Peter Bouteneff, professor of theology at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in New York and author of the new book Arvo Pärt: Out of Silence.

Lead Sponsor: Ronni Lacroute

Festival Schedule

Sunday February 5

4:30pm Screening of film “Arvo Pärt: Even if I lose everything”

Whitsell Auditorium, NW Film Center.

Dorian Supin’s intimate film of minimalist Estonian composer Arvo Pärt provides a warm and delicate portrait of the maestro’s philosophy of life and interactions with his family and friends, shedding light on the composers’ process as he seeks his creative path. Co-presented with The Northwest Film Center as part of “Reel Music 34,” a showcase of new films exploring the intersection of sound and image, and music and culture. Schedule at

Thursday February 9

7:30pm Pärt & Pärcel: Music of Arvo Pärt & the New Estonia, Third Angle New Music (SOLD OUT)
Studio 2 @ N.E.W., 810 SE Belmont, Portland

  • PÄRT: Spiegel im spiegel
  • PÄRT: Fratres
  • PÄRT: Mozart-Adagio
  • TÕNU KÕRVITS: Head ööd (“Good Night”)
  • MARIANNA LIIK: Kulgemine

9:00pm Pärt & Pärcel: Music of Arvo Pärt & the New Estonia, Third Angle New Music
Studio 2 @ N.E.W., 810 SE Belmont, Portland

Friday February 10

7:30pm Pärt & Pärcel (SOLD OUT)
Studio 2 @ N.E.W., 810 SE Belmont, Portland

7:30pm Pärt Complete Organ Works, Bruce Neswick
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, NW 19th and Everett, 147 NW 19th Ave.,  Portland

Co-sponsored by Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. Virtuoso organist Bruce Neswick performs the complete organ works by Pärt, including a recent arrangement of Spiegel im Spiegel by Giovanni Battista Mazza for organ, approved by the composer in his official catalogue.

  • Pari Intervallo (1976/1981)
  • Annum per annum (1980)
  • Trivium (1988)
  • Mein Weg hat Gipfel und Wellentäler (1989)
  • Spiegel im Spiegel (1978, arr. 2010)

9:00pm Pärt & Pärcel (ADDED PERFORMANCE.  NEW VENUE!!!)
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, NW 19th and Everett, 147 NW 19th Ave., Portland

Saturday February 11

11:00am Public Lecture: “The Words Write My Music,” by Peter Bouteneff
Gus J. Solomon U.S. Courthouse, 620 SW Main St at Broadway, Portland

Renowned Pärt scholar and theologian Dr. Peter Bouteneff directs the Arvo Pärt Project at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, an in-depth endeavor involving concerts, lectures and publications. His most recent book is Arvo Pärt: Out of Silence, which has been hailed as “a triumph,” “a game-changer for Pärt scholarship,” and “a must-read for any listener or performer of Pärt’s music.” He will give a one-hour talk with time for Q&A, and will be available to sign copies of his new book after the lecture.

2:30pm Pärt Choral Works: Odes of Repentance, Cappella Romana, Conducted by Alexander Lingas
St. Mary’s Cathedral, NW 18th and Couch, 1716 NW Couch St., Portland

Patterned after an Orthodox service of supplication (Paraklesis or Moleben), this concert offers a selection of Pärt’s English and Slavonic works including Triodion and excerpts of his monumental Kanon Pokajanen, the Kanon of Repentance.

Triodion [in English]

  • “Ode 1”: Apolytikion for the Holy Icons
  • “Ode 2”: Apolytikion for the Mother of God
  • “Ode 3”: Apolytikion for St. Nicholas

From the Kanon Pokajanen [in Slavonic]

  • Kanon Ode 6
  • Kontakion
  • Oikos
  • Kanon Ode 8
  • Kanon Ode 9
  • Prayer after the Kanon

The Woman with the Alabaster Box [in English]

9:00pm Pärt: Passio, by candlelight
Cappella Romana, Third Angle New Music, Lewis and Clark College Cappella Nova Chamber Choir. Directed by Alexander Lingas. Evangelist quartet: Vakare Marshall, Laura Beckel Thoreson, Leslie Green, John Michael Boyer. Jesus: Aaron Cain. Pilate: Joseph Michael Muir.
St. Mary’s Cathedral, NW 18th and Couch, 1716 NW Couch St., Portland

A late-night production of Pärt’s iconic masterpiece, Passio Domini nostri Jesu Christi secundum Joannem (The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John), performed by candlelight. Cappella Romana and Third Angle New Music are joined by the Lewis & Clark College chamber choir, Cappella Nova, singing the part of the turba. Performed in Latin with supertitles.

Sunday February 12

10:00am Pärt Missa Syllabica sung in Mass
St. Stephen’s Catholic Church, 1112 SE 41st St, Portland
Nine soloists of Cappella Romana sing Arvo Pärt’s Missa Syllabica, one of his earliest tinntinnabuli works, in a Latin Mass at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church. Free.

2:00pm Pre-concert talk “Ancient Hymns & Modern Composers,” Alexander Lingas
Kaul Auditorium, Reed College, Portland

Music director and founder of Cappella Romana, Dr. Alexander Lingas, is a Reader in Music at City University, London and a Fellow of the University of Oxford’s European Humanities Research Centre. He received his Ph.D. in Historical Musicology from the University of British Columbia. His work embraces historical study as well as ethnography and performance.

3:00pm Pärt Te Deum, Festival Finale Concert.
Cappella Romana, Third Angle New Music. Conducted by Alexander Lingas
Kaul Auditorium, Reed College, Portland

Featuring Pärt’s monumental Te Deum for Three Choirs, Strings, and Prepared Piano, this program opens with his Da Pacem Domine, commissioned by Jordi Savall in memory of the victims of the Madrid terrorist bombings in 2004, and the US premiere of Pärt’s Alleluia-Tropus, a work in Church Slavonic celebrating St. Nicholas of Myra. Also on the program are works by Scottish Catholic Sir James MacMillan, Greek composer Thános Mikroutsikós, and the late Sir John Tavener.

Single tickets start as low as $12 for some events, with discounts for students and $5 Arts for All. Order online or call 503.236.8202.

Arvo PärtAbout Arvo Pärt

Arvo Pärt was born in 1935 in Paide, Estonia. After studies with Heino Eller’s composition class in Tallinn, he worked from 1958 to 1967 as a sound engineer for Estonian Radio. In 1980 he emigrated with his family to Vienna and then, one year later, travelled on a DAAD scholarship to Berlin.

As one of the most radical representatives of the so-called ‘Soviet Avant-garde’, Pärt’s work passed through a profound evolutionary process. His first creative period began with neo-classical piano music. Then followed ten years in which he made his own individual use of the most important compositional techniques of the avant-garde: dodecaphony, composition with sound masses, aleatoricism, collage technique. Nekrolog (1960), the first piece of dodecaphonic music written in Estonia, and Perpetuum mobile (1963) gained the composer his first recognition by the West. In his collage works ‘avant-garde’ and ‘early’ music confront each other boldly and irreconcilably, a confrontation which attains its most extreme expression in his last collage piece Credo (1968). But by this time all the compositional devices Pärt had employed to date had lost all their former fascination and begun to seem pointless to him. The search for his own voice drove him into a withdrawal from creative work lasting nearly eight years, during which he engaged with the study of Gregorian Chant, the Notre Dame school and classical vocal polyphony.

In 1976 music emerged from this silence – the little piano piece Für Alina. It is obvious that with this work Pärt had discovered his own path. The new compositional principle used here for the first time, which he called tintinnabuli (Latin for ‘little bells’), has defined his work right up to today. The ‘tintinnabuli principle’ does not strive towards a progressive increase in complexity, but rather towards an extreme reduction of sound materials and a limitation to the essential. (Universal Edition)

Cappella RomanaAbout Cappella Romana

Its performances “like jeweled light flooding the space” (Los Angeles Times), Cappella Romana is a professional vocal chamber ensemble dedicated to combining passion with scholarship in its exploration of the musical traditions of the Christian East and West, with emphasis on early and contemporary music. Founded in 1991, Cappella Romana’s name refers to the medieval Greek concept of the Roman oikoumene (inhabited world), which embraced Rome and Western Europe, as well as the Byzantine Empire of Constantinople (“New Rome”) and its Slavic commonwealth.

Music Director and Founder Alexander Lingas and Cappella Romana have established themselves as global leaders in the music of the Christian East and West. A presentation by Cappella Romana is an experience unlike any other vocal music concert. Some programs feature ancient music never before heard by modern audiences; on other occasions new or rediscovered works based on ancient tropes are brought to audiences from leading contemporary composers.


Early Music America: Reveling in Byzantine Chant

Philippa Kiraly has published a wonderful feature including reviews and interviews with Mark Powell and Alexander Lingas in honor of our 25th Season, as well as a preview of our upcoming Hagia Sophia “Icons of Sound” recording:

“Cappella Romana opened its 25th season in October in Seattle and Portland with “Icons of Sound: Byzantine Chant from Hagia Sophia.” Enhanced by the reverberant acoustics of Seattle’s St. James Cathedral, the sound of early Byzantine church music created a hypnotic effect as eight men — more than half of them Greek Orthodox cantors — and five women sang music from scholarly editions, much of it prepared by the singers themselves.…

“The sound created by Cappella Romana’s men singing early chant is like nothing heard elsewhere. There’s an initial firm start to phrases that seems almost to come from under the note, though it doesn’t. There’s a rich resonance, a strongly cored, open sound with a lot of depth, and no vibrato. The music often has a limited range, spanning not much more than an octave, while its highly ornamented melodies are usually sung over one or more drones that indicate the tetrachord (a four-note range) of the mode in use. When you hear the ensemble, it only takes a few measures to know that this is Cappella Romana.…

“Participation since 2010 in Cappella Romana’s ongoing Stanford Research Project — from which the October concert was a natural offshoot — had the choir heading to San Francisco immediately after the Hagia Sophia concert. “Icons of Sound: Aesthetics and Acoustics of Hagia Sophia” was a collaboration between Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics and the Department of Art and Art History.

The aim was to use real-time digital signal processing to synthesize the acoustics of Hagia Sophia itself. In Istanbul, the Stanford crew was allowed only to work in the middle of the night. They popped balloons in Hagia Sophia, measuring the reverberation times and signal response at all frequencies around the cathedral, capturing this information into their computers, and bringing the results back to Stanford. Cappella Romana’s part was to sing while wearing tiny microphones on their foreheads in Stanford’s Bing Concert Hall, with the signals processed and distributed to an array of 24 loudspeakers distributed throughout the hall. “I was prepared for it to sound fake,” says Powell, “but it sounded and felt like the real thing.”

The resulting Cappella Romana CD will likely come out in 2017, adding to its catalog of more than 20 recordings. To get a taste of the ensemble’s distinctive and unmistakable sound, go to YouTube to find dozens of excerpts.…” —Philippa Kiraly, Early Music America

See the full feature on Early Music America

Smithsonian Magazine Features Icons of Sound

Our “Icons of Sound” concert and collaboration with Stanford University gets a fantastic feature in the Smithsonian Magazine:

“Hagia Sophia, a former church and mosque, is an important part of Istanbul’s long history. Who knew its sublime sound could be transferred to Stanford? Twice in the past few years, Stanford scholars and scientists have worked to digitally recreate the experience of being in Hagia Sophia when it was a medieval church. Collaborating with choral group Cappella Romana, they digitally recreated the former holy building’s acoustics, and performed medieval church music in the university’s Bing Concert Hall as if it was Hagia Sophia. Their efforts are part of a multi-year collaboration between departments at Stanford that asks the question: can modern technology help us go back in time? … The music that Cappella Romana performs is historical Christian music. Much of their work for the Hagia Sophia project has not been heard in centuries, writes Jason Victor Serinus for Stanford’s events blog. It certainly hasn’t been performed in the former church in all that time. … There’s no substitute for being there, as the saying goes. But since it’s impossible to travel back in time to be present at a tenth-century church service, this is maybe the next best thing.” —Kat Eschner, Smithsonian Magazine

See the full feature on